PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

CFL Savings Calculator

You already know that using compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) will save you money. But exactly how much money are you (or will you be) saving?

The CFL savings calculator will tell you. Download the CFL Savings Calculator (XLS File).
Simply answer a few questions. . .

. . .and you will learn how much time and money you have saved every year!

Now, imagine what you can do with that extra time and money, especially if you replace a handful of light bulbs. And remember, as the cost of electricity rises, your CFL will pay off even more.

When Selecting a CFL Bulb

  1. Make sure it is bright enough. Generally, a 15 W CFL produces as much light as a 60 Watt incandescent, a 20 W CFL = 75 W incandescent, and a 25 W CFL = 100 W incandescent.

  2. Choose the right color. Natural sunlight has a Color Rendering Index (CRI) value of 100. Select a bulb with a CRI of 80 or above, which means that it replicates colors well. Also, choose a CFL that has a "temperature" between 2700 K and 3000 K. The lower the number, the warmer the light, but too low gets gloomy. Too high--some fluorescent bulbs are closer to 4000 K--and the bulbs give off that 'industrial' bluish color.

  3. Choose ENERGY STAR. ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs will not flicker or delay like some of the old CFLs you might have seen--even old ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs had this problem--and they are likely to be the right color.

  4. Some CFLs can be used on dimmers. They cost more. If the box doesn't mention that the bulb can be dimmed, don't place it on the fixture. Dimmers can greatly shorten the life of non-dimmable CFLs and even be a fire hazard.

More Energy Saving Lighting Tips [IMAGE: Energy-Efficient Lighting Tech Set]

Explore the Energy Efficient Lighting Tech Set, which shows you how to maximize the benefits of both natural and energy-efficient supplemental lighting.

Daylighting Techniques
1. Low-e glazing on windows
2. Seasonal window shading including:
- Overhangs
- Shading with deciduous trees
- Reflective window treatments
3. Tubular skylights

Supplemental Lighting
4. ENERGY STAR qualified fixtures
5. CFLs and full spectrum flourescent lamps
6. Dimmer switches
7. Motion sensors

Content updated on 1/29/2007

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